A report by IT researchers Gartner billed 2013 'a year of contradictions for the business intelligence and analytics software market', but added that business intelligence and performance management continues to drive business value.
Analysts there predict the business information industry (worth more than $14bn in 2013) will overcome a series of tipping points in 2014 that will further accelerate businesses demand for BI services.
"Fifty per cent of spend on BI will be driven by businesses; half of new license spend will be driven by data discovery requirements, and half of organisations will consider deploying BI in the cloud," they said.
One surprising finding in the report was that take-up of commercial 'big data' analytics services didn't reach the levels expected, after a year of hype over this comparatively new offering.
Conversely, data discovery tools became popular last year, particularly among BI end-users: providing a more visual way to iteratively move through data sets.
Cloud-based BI also saw a huge leap in adoption by businesses over the same period, though it is still in its infancy.
While this dynamic area represented only four cent of the market in 2013, it grew, year-on-year, 42 per cent thanks to smaller businesses leveraging it as an enabler to allow them to process advanced analytics from big data... something their larger corporate contemporaries have been doing for some years.
Following with the theme of SMEs squaring up to their larger rivals; strong growth in the company information, business intelligence and big data analytics industries was broadly found to have been driven by a multitude of smaller BI providers last year, who continue to compete against the traditional incumbents, and increase their segment.
'Market share leaders and growth leaders were not one and the same,' it found. Consequently, their research suggests this trend will spur the biggest companies into an offensive this year that will see them offer a fresh range of advanced services and processes. The biggest BI providers will seek to become more nimble with data discovery and cloud this year and in 2015, they predict.
Advice from the report suggests companies should find a Business Intelligence provider to work with - to reduce costs, create growth and transform your enterprise - and use a structure with the following foundations:
Strategise and Plan by using a BI and analytics framework to define where it will provide business value;
Develop Governance by creating a centre of excellence to spearhead BI projects;
Drive Change Management by surveying current practices and drive participation from business managers;
Execute by providing the company with the capability to analyse information; and,
Measure and Improve though tracking usage and adoption of your BI initiative.